The Iowa Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation, has scheduled in-person public hearings and online, self-directed meetings for the Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study.
Public input will be sought on the Draft Tier 1 Service Level Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), including the project’s purpose and need, all reasonable alternatives, the affected environment, and the potential environmental impacts of the alternatives considered. The basis for recommendation of the preferred route alternative will be presented. Preliminary reports, including environmental documents with exhibits and maps, will be available for review.
Each public hearing and online meeting will contain the same presented information, so individuals can attend in-person at the public hearing, or view and comment at the online meeting. We encourage all those interested to participate. The public hearings will be conducted the week of Dec. 11, 2012, using a combined informal open forum and formal format. Iowa DOT staff will be available to discuss the project informally between 4 and 5:30 p.m. A formal presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session concluding at 7 p.m.
There will be three public meetings. The first meeting will be on December 11 in Chacago at Chicago Union Station, 500 W. Jackson St., Great Hall Gallery.
The second meeting will be in Des Moines on December 12 at the Des Moines Botanical Center, 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Oak/Willow Room.
The third meeting will be in Council Bluffs on December 13 at the Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave., Conference Room A/B.
An online, self-directed open house public hearing will be available through Dec. 26, 2012, on the study’s website at www.iowadot.gov/chicagotoomaha/. Information included on this website will be identical to the presentation made at the in-person meetings.